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Loudoun Valley Presents Pippin

April 15, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

May 4-6, the Loudoun Valley High School Drama Department is pleased to announce it’s spring Musical ~ Pippin. Under the musical direction of Michael Gerdes, with an updated “steampunk” version of staging by Ike Stoneberger, Pippin will star Garrett Milich as Pippin, Frank Song as the Lead Player, Ben Zook as Charlemagne, Drew Hare as Lewis, Vanessa Borg as Fastrada, Eavan Kennedy as Catherine, Abigail Moore as Berthe and introducing Ian Carlson as Theo. Kellie Goosens has choreographed the production and the set was designed by Pippin (Garret Milich) himself! … Continue Reading

Exhaustion and Joy … Behind the Scenes of The Merry Widow

April 4, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

By Molly Pinson Simoneau

Around ten ‘til seven, I arrive at the church building, gather what I need out of the back seat of my car and walk inside where I find my fellow cast and crew members already gathering and preparing to rehearse The Merry Widow. I set my score, water bottle, and character shoes down next to Erin Winkler, a soprano with impeccable comedic instinct, who is singing the role of Natalie in our performance.

“How’s it going?” I say, as I sit down to change my shoes. “Pretty good, how are you? Feeling better?” She asks, remembering that I had a throat infection last week. “I’m much better, but still not totally healed. My voice is still tiring out easily, you know?” “I know. I’m still not 100 percent yet either.” She says. She had come down with laryngitis a few weeks ago, but recently has been sounding as good as ever, and I told her so. Sometimes it seems like all we singers talk about is our various ailments, and how to cure them. When your instrument is literally a part of your body, it becomes a priority. … Continue Reading

Leapin’ Lizards, Annie is coming to Blue Ridge Middle School!

February 17, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Behind the Scenes, Events, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

The beloved family musical Annie will be performed at Blue Ridge Middle School in Purcellville on March 2, 3 and 4. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., with matinee shows on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

The show is directed by Dolly Stevens, professional actor/director, and founding Artistic Director of The Growing Stage, and has a cast of 41 talented students from the middle school.
If you are hoping “The sun will come out tomorrow,” or “It’s a Hard Knock Life” for you, then take “Easy Street” and head over to Blue Ridge Middle School for an evening of musical fun! Bring the whole family!


March 2, 7:30 p.m.
March 3, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
March 4, 2:30 p.m.

Tickets: Students/Seniors: $5.00 Adults: $10.00

Blue Ridge Middle School
551 East A St. Purcellville, VA 20132

Tickets are available at the door, or in advance at annie.brms@gmail.com.
More information is on the school website: www.lcps.org/brms/annie

Meet the Artists at Purcellville Library

February 8, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

Nichols: The Last Hardware Store, a documentary film created by The Lincoln Studios, will be shown at 2:00 p.m., February 26 at Purcellville Library. The film celebrates the beloved Nichols Hardware Store, its loyal customers and pays tribute to its almost 100 years of survival. Following the film screening, the trio of film-makers from The Lincoln Studios; Peter Buck, Sarah Huntington and Drew Babb will discuss the making of the film. The program is free and open to the public.

Meet the Artists is an ongoing series at Loudoun County Public Library featuring locally-based artists who exhibit their work in a variety of formats including film, paint, and photography.

J. Reilly Lewis and Performers from the Washington Bach Consort Come to The Piedmont

January 21, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

The Community Music School of the Piedmont presents ‘The Joy of Bach’, the 5th Annual Candlelight Concert featuring the internationally acclaimed J. Reilly Lewis and performers from The Washington Bach Consort. The fundraising event and silent auction will take place on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. at Barton Oaks Ballroom in The Plains. … Continue Reading

Franklin Park Arts Center Presents “The World’s Funniest Guitar Virtuoso”

January 11, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

On January 14 and 15 you’ll have the opportunity to experience the hilarious comedy and world class musicianship of former Loudoun resident Mike Rayburn. Mike will appear in concert at Franklin Park Arts Center on Saturday, January 14 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 15 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for students and seniors. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at 540-338-7973. Visit www.franklinparkartscenter.com for more information. … Continue Reading

Faces of Loudoun on Display at County Government Center

January 4, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

“Faces of Loudoun” – a series of black and white portraits by award-winning photographer Sarah Huntington – is on display in Gallery One at the Loudoun County Government Center through February.

Huntington has been photographing Loudoun’s personalities since she moved to Loudoun County in 1980. A graduate of the Corcoran School of Art, she owns and operates her studio in Purcellville where she makes her living photographing people and events. … Continue Reading

Sterling Players Present “It’s a Wonderful Life”

December 6, 2011 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment
wonderful life

This weekend the Sterling Playmakers touched many with its wonderfully successful production of It’s a Wonderful Life. If you missed this past weekend’s opening, you still have an opportunity bring your friends and family to come celebrate the season with this heart-warming holiday favorite. Don’t miss out as It’s a Wonderful Life continues Friday, December 9, and runs through the weekend at the theatre at Sterling Middle School in Sterling. Friday and Saturday performances, December 9, and 10, are at 8:00 p.m. Sunday matinee is at 2:00 p.m. on December 11. Tickets are $12 for General Admission and are available at the door or online via PayPal at www.sterlingplaymakers.com. … Continue Reading

Loudoun Symphony Orchestra Announces Holiday Spectacular

November 30, 2011 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

The Loudoun Symphony Orchestra will hold its Holiday Spectacular Concert on December 10 at the Virginia Academy in Ashburn, located at 19790 Ashburn Road, Ashburn. The event will feature the Washington Soloist Ensemble, guest conductor Dr. Yeong Su Kim, vocalist Jason Labrador and the Loudoun’s Got Talent Winner, Somok Yoo. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and the String Workshop will perform at 7:00 p.m.. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.loudoun symphony.org or at the door. Pricing is Adults $22/$25, Seniors $18/$20, Students $10/$15, and Youth under 12 free. Tickets are also available at Melodee Music in Sterling and the Loudoun Visitors Center in downtown Leesburg. … Continue Reading

The Nutcracker Ballet

November 26, 2011 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

It’s that time of year again; our sugar plums are dancing, the flowers are blooming in anticipation and the snowflakes are excited to grace the stage. The Northern Virginia Performing Arts Company is proud to sponsor their annual Nutcracker Ballet. Dancers from the Dance Academy of Loudoun will perform at Franklin Park Performing Arts Center in Purcellville on December 3 at 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. and December 4 at 2:00 and 5:00p.m.. Matinee performances at Franklin Park have sold out in the first week of sales. Given this increase in popularity we have added performances at Tuscarora High School in Leesburg on December 10 at 4:00 and 6:30 p.m..

Courtney Collier and Camila Cifuentes will entertain as Clara, the young girl that dreams of Rats and Soldiers as they battle around the Christmas tree. Lighted Rat eyes and playful costuming have made this NOVPAC production scene a great crowd pleaser. Cassidy Burk, Melissa Hyatt, Ann Vespestad, and Jane Buttarazzi will perform the Dewdrop and Sugar Plum lead roles. These extremely talented dancers plan to dance professionally after they attend excellent college dance programs such as Point Park and University of the Arts. … Continue Reading

Shakespeare Gone Wild!

November 17, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

Come out this December 9, 10, and 11 to see the Viking Players in The Taming of the Shrew – the Shakespeare play you THOUGHT you knew! This hysterical comedy, reimagined by director Ike Stoneberger, follows Petruchio (Ben Zook), a backwoods, deer huntin’ Virginia “gentleman,”in his mission to snag the heart-or at least the dowry-of the spiteful, headstrong young Katherine (Eavan Kennedy) in a small Arkansas fishing village. While the two lovebirds are-literally-wrestling over the course of their marriage, a host of live bait totin’ suitors bicker over who gets to woo Katherine’s more enticing younger sister, Bianca (Anna Casserino), and young southern aristocrat, Lucentio (Doug Breton) thinks up a scheme to win Bianca’s love behind the back of her hawk-eyed mother (Virginia Theerman).Filled to the sun-beaten brim with rough-housing honey mooners, camo-clad wedding guests, and witty dialogue, this is one hectic hayride you don’t want to miss.

Local Play Wins Big

November 13, 2011 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

The Loudoun Valley High School one-act play titled Mediocrity by Anton Robert Krueger won first place in the Dulles District II AA competition on Saturday, November 5, at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn.

The cast, under direction of Mr. Ike Stoneberger, performed British farce using classic and cockney English accents, and featured Ben Zook as Kenaf, Gemma Davimes as the Wife, Erica Miller as the Doctor, Drew Hare as the Brute, Emily Jackson as the Narrator, and Jacob Gates Smith as Quatro.

Four of the cast were recognized as best actors: Zook, Miller, Jackson, and Hare. The crew included Anna Casserino as Stage Manager, Anna Stratton as Technical Manager, and Amanda Barr as technical crew. The cast performs at Regional Festival at Tuscarora High School in Leesburg on November 19.

Taming of the Shrew Comes to Valley

November 13, 2011 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

Loudoun Valley High School drama department is pleased to announce the advent of a new performance of ‘Taming of the Shrew’ by William Shakespeare. The production will be performed at Loudoun Valley High School auditorium on December 9 and at 7:00 p.m. and December 11 at 2:00 pm. The cost is $5.00 per ticket, $10.00 for all others and may be purchased at the performance. The play is under the direction of Mr. Ike Stoneberger. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014


The latest version of the IPCC report is published and once again it will go unread by the great masses of climate science deniers and unreported by the media. So it might be useful to revisit the fundamental physical realities …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Understanding Teen Suicide

1 Apr 2014


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Northern Virginia has recently experienced several teen suicides. Last month, two Langley High School students took their own lives just a day apart from one another, and this month it appears two students at Woodson High …

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Virginia Gardening

Spring Is Coming

4 Mar 2014


By Donna Williamson March is an in-between month – some cold and the return of glorious warmth now and then. One way to bring some delight inside is forcing spring-blooming branches. You can cut branches of forsythia, cherry, crabapple, kerria, …

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Sushi's Corner

An Easter Swim

1 Apr 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 11.10.56 AM

I felt like a silly nim “cow” poop with these Easter bows in our hair. Okay Nelly, maybe you didn’t because you’re a girl. But me, a Mighty Cairn Terrier male? – PLEASE! Pleasing Mrs. B for Easter pictures was …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

What Baseball Can Teach You About Financial Planning

1 Apr 2014

Amy Smith-BRL

Spring training is a tradition that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. …

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Go Take a Hike

Blandy Experimental Farm

6 Jun 2012


By Molly Pinson Simoneau It’s no secret that I love a challenging hike. I’ve written here about hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park. I’ve taken vacations with my family to Colorado where I’ve attempted to conquer a “fourteener” (a summit that is higher than 14,000 feet), …


Real Estate Ticker

A Buying Opportunity?

6 Nov 2013

Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer As a direct result of the uncertainty that has arisen from national and regional politics, with its unsettling effect on the Northern Virginia area, for the past two months there has been a market slowdown which has …

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From the Farm

From the Farm

5 Jul 2012

From the Farm

When the heat index reaches 110 degrees, as it has been doing recently, I try to keep in the shade, or stay indoors. But my lavender, about halfway from full bloom, seems to thrive in it. Hot and dry, I …

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April 2014
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: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists -- Abstract painter Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and contemporary painter Sandra Iafrate


April 12, 2014N/A

Meet Evelyn and Sandra and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Living Color,” showcasing two accomplished painters Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and Sandra Iafrate, in a vivid and dynamic presentation of color, shape and our surroundings.

Evelyn Lopez de Guzman’s vibrant paintings awaken the viewer to connect with nature and the modern world through an interplay of shape, color, and textural materials.

Sandra Iafrate’s combination of realistic and surrealist interpretation of flowers, foliage and landscapes on spacious canvases convey a sense of movement and playfulness.

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Easter at "The Park"


April 19, 2014

Celebrate Easter at historic Morven Park with crafts for kids, an egg hunt in the formal gardens plus a traditional egg roll on the Davis Mansion lawn. Have a family photo taken with the Easter Bunny. Children should bring a basket for the hunt and a large spoon for the egg roll. $10/participating child (ages 2-12), $3/adult. Register at www.MorvenPark.org.

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VAL's Pals Kids Club


April 30, 2014

Join Inova Loudoun Hospital as the present their Beamer the Dog Program.

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May 4, 2014

Scouting for Bricks is an exhibit showing the Love for everything LEGO® . Come see amazing LEGO® creations by Fans of LEGO®, LEGO® trains, Mindstorms robots. We will also have live Star Wars Stormtroopers and an interactive play area with over 100,000 LEGO bricks. Scouting for Bricks is fun for the Whole Family! Visit us at www.ScoutingForBricks.com.

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View From the Ridge

Rural Loudoun Is Different, and We Say Dark Skies Do Matter

4 Mar 2014


In February of this year a sell out crowd gathered at the county public seat in Leesburg to provide feedback to the Loudoun County Planning Commission on the idea of adding additional sports lights to the upper athletic fields at Franklin Park. Franklin Park includes a really wonderful performing arts …



Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014


In 2003, the county purchased 22 commuter buses to serve a growing demand for bus service to Washington D.C. The demand has grown exponentially ever since. The county now owns or leases 65 large commuter buses (with plush seats and on board restrooms) and more are being added every year. The buses are often filled to standing room only as …



Sadie’s Race 5K and Fun Run Scheduled for Sunday May 18

9 Apr 2014


Sadie Smile Foundation is putting on the third annual Sadie’s Race/Walk and Kids Fun Run to Benefit Smile Train in Purcellville Sunday, May 18th this year. The race starts at 8:00 a.m. at the train station at 200 N 21st Street in Purcellville. Sign up at Active.com. When Sara Ablard lost her five year-old daughter, Sadie, two years ago, she …

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Dr. Joseph Rogers Dies at Family Farm

1 Apr 2014

Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were made quietly and with little fanfare. His public persona was …

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Zoldos Presented Citizen of the Year Award

1 Apr 2014


At the biweekly March meeting of the Lovettsville Town Council, Mayor Bobby Zoldos was presented the 2013 Citizen of the Year from the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans. Presenting the award was Rick Adams, current president along with Board Member Peter Mullally and  Vice President Jeff Boogaard. Adams said, “On behalf of the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans, we would like to present the …

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Around Virginia

Wolf Won’t Seek Re-election


Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today announced that he would not seek election to an 18th term in 2014. He released the following statement announcing his decision: “I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern …

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Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger


By Congressman Frank Wolf Last year, the USDA reported a record number of Americans are struggling to put food on their tables. Across the nation, 49 million people – including 17 million children and six million seniors – are going hungry, a number that has grown substantially over the last …

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Kaine Statement on Navy Yard Shooting


U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by today’s tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. As we learn more about the horrific events that unfolded this morning, my deepest sympathies go out …

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Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014


Upper Loudoun Little League’s Hometown Heroes scholarship closes on April 21, 2014. The application is available online at ULLL.org. The scholarship is open to all graduating seniors who played baseball for ULLL at some point in their growing up years.

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Lady Vikings Give Back

10 Feb 2014

The Loudoun Valley Girls basketball team held an event on Friday, February 7 at LVHS. The Lady Vikings celebrated “Pink Night” by honoring those who are battling breast cancer or have been affected by breast cancer. The event was held in conjunction with an event held at Woodgrove earlier this …

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Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014


Did you know that there’s a very real possibility that a DC-style budget battle and government shutdown could come to Virginia? The Medicaid expansion battle …

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Endorsing for Profit Businesses?

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

I recently received an automated email message from the Town of Purcellville soliciting nominations for volunteer award recipients in cooperation with the Purcellville Business Association …


Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

The Purcellville Town Council, foolishly, in the view of many and perhaps most, has overruled its Board of Architectural Review and approved Mark Nelis’s and …



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